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Brown Deer Village Board primary election voters guide

Feb. 18 primary will eliminate two candidates

Feb. 5, 2014

Jamie Awe

Age: 34

Employer/

occupation: annuity specialist at Robert W. Baird & Co.

Education: bachelor's in finance and marketing from UWM

Contact: (262) 894-5347; jdawe7@gmail.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

As a longtime resident and graduate from Brown Deer, I have a deep passion for this community. Brown Deer needs young leadership with fresh ideas so we can continue to move forward. My work experience in finance and marketing will help our village battle its continuing budget constraints.

Service consolidations, most notably of area police departments, remain topics of conversation in the North Shore. What are your thoughts, especially with regard to police?

Consolidation of village services makes sense in some instances. The health department, dispatch center, and North Shore Fire Department can function effectively using a consolidated approach. But their daily duties differ from those of the Police Department. Our village requires a consistent police presence on our streets to patrol and protect. I would have to study the financials, the functionality and seek input from residents before making any decision on this issue.

What should the village's focus be in 2014?

First, we must continue to focus on residential and retail development. Abandoned homes and vacant properties, such as the gas station on 51st and Brown Deer Road, do not create a positive image. Second, the village should heighten its communication with the community. Our Brown Deer magazine was a step in the right direction, but we must explore other mediums (especially electronic) to distribute information and highlight the community. Finally, we must continue to be mindful of hard-working taxpayers when preparing future budgets and work more cohesively with the school district and local businesses. We're all in this together! I would like to thank our elected leaders for the work they have done in recent years. If we can improve our properties, communication and finances, I'm confident we will continue to rank high on lists such as CNN's "Affordable Homes", and Movoto Real Estate's "Best Places in Wisconsin."

Terry Boschert (i)

Age: 60

Employer/

occupation: engineer at Master Lock

Education: associate degree in industrial engineering from Moraine Park Technical College; bachelor's in management systems from Milwaukee School of Engineering

Contact: (414) 354-1150; tbosch@wi.rr.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

As a 27-year resident and a three-term trustee, I have the experience, vision and trustworthiness to keep Brown Deer moving forward. Brown Deer is at a pivotal point in its development and I believe I have the foresight to make Brown Deer the pride of the North Shore.

Service consolidations, most notably of area police departments, remain topics of conversation in the North Shore. What are your thoughts, especially with regard to police?

While Brown Deer has been successful with several other consolidations (dispatch center, fire & health depts.), a consolidated police department could be lacking in several ways. I would be concerned about response time to calls and the ability to hold crime at bay. I would be in favor on two conditions: overwhelming evidence showed no drop in service levels while crime dropped or held steady at a significantly reduced cost.

What should the village's focus be in 2014?

Developments in key areas of the village need to be addressed. Completion of the Bradley Crossing area along with the re-development of Bradley West is drastically needed. Also, re-development of the former Citgo station is a huge priority. The recent streetscape in the Original Village needs to be marketed to attract new businesses. Improved image and identity are important factors to making Brown Deer the desire of the North Shore. Our recent recognition by CNN as one of the most affordable places to live and MOVOTO's third-place ranking of the best place in Wisconsin to live needs to be emphasized and marketed.

Otto Bunge

Age: 64

Employer/

occupation: retired from finance and insurance industries

Education: bachelor's in business administration with a focus on finance

Contact: (414) 446-7202; obunge@wi.rr.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

My vast experience in management particularly in banking, marketing, finance and volunteer work for the village having served on the Traffic and Public Safety Committee, and currently member of the Board of Review, and the Fourth of July Celebration Committee makes me a qualified and the right person.

Service consolidations, most notably of area police departments, remain topics of conversation in the North Shore. What are your thoughts, especially with regard to police?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no other services needing to be consolidated besides the ones already in place at this time. It is possible that in the near future other consolidations may be considered within the police departments depending on the needs of the municipalities.

What should the village's focus be in 2014?

It is my opinion the focus this year for the village has to do with having created a new position of a zoning and planning specialist with a distinct job description to include the implementation of a foreclosure intervention program. This function will help preserve and increase property values in the community. This specialist can also handle code enforcement issues such as encroachment to property, lot line disputes, etc. This relieves the Police Department from dealing with these issues and focusing on keeping our community safe. Another focus for 2014 would be to have the North Shore Fire Department and the Brown Deer Police do their own accreditation to increase sufficiency and high standards. This will make the community safer.

Richmond Izard II

Age: 47

Employer/

occupation: minister at Mega Ministries

Education: graduate of Rufus King High School, bachelor's in business administration, specialization in finance from Marquette University

Contact: (414) 737-2167; richmond@megaministries.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

Rev. Izard has twenty-five years of experience in the corporate, public and nonprofit sectors. His career includes leadership as an auditor, business manager and administrator. As an ordained minister, he also has compassion for people. Richmond brings nonprofit expertise as both an administrator and chair of the board of trustees.

Service consolidations, most notably of area police departments, remain topics of conversation in the North Shore. What are your thoughts, especially with regard to police?

The village highlighted the significance of service consolidations and intergovernmental collaborations by including affirmative policy recommendations in Tables 9.6 and 9.7 of the Brown Deer Comprehensive Plan. Reverend Richmond Izard welcomes and will evaluate the effectiveness of all strategic efforts that cost-effectively improve services to constituents. Elder Richmond notes, however, that not all services warrant consolidation. Certain functions within the scope of police services may or may not be appropriate to our demographics and needs.

What should the village's focus be in 2014? When asked, it is Rev. Richmond Izard's position that the people of Brown Deer have already spoken concerning our focus for 2014. The village has been conducting extensive analysis and planning for some time now. Our primary driver, therefore, is the Brown Deer Comprehensive Plan 2030, which was finalized in November of 2009. Our official plan details specific goals and objectives in the areas of natural resources, economic development, land use, housing, transportation, utilities and community facilities, and intergovernmental cooperation. The plan even highlights priority issues and opportunities, as well high priority recommendations for implementation. This year, my fellow trustees and I will track our progress and make any necessary adjustments. Notwithstanding, Because of changing demographics, we must also continue to monitor and incorporate continual feedback. For example, our village "Biggest Issues" survey reports that the most pressing municipal issue is economic development, followed by public safety and property maintenance.

Bruce Thomas

Age: 58

Employer/

occupation: self-employed owner of a uniform business

Education: bachelor's from the UWM school of business

Contact: (414) 371-0329; bthomas6200@gmail.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

I attend Village Board meetings and am up to speed on village issues. I have a vision for A Better Brown Deer thru economic development on Green Bay Ave, Brown Deer Road, and other vacant properties. I support the Wal-Mart purchasing the vacant Lowe's site.

Service consolidations, most notably of area police departments, remain topics of conversation in the North Shore. What are your thoughts, especially with regard to police?

I agree with our chief that keeping an open mind is important and several questions should be asked by elected officials: What is the goal of consolidation? How would a funding formula be devised? How would training of personnel be addressed? How should cars and other equipment be purchased? If elected, I will keep an open mind if and when the consolidation issue arises. Public safety would be my main goal.

What should the village's focus be in 2014?

The main focus of elected officials should be public safety, stabilizing and improving home values and keeping property taxes down. Elected officials working with village management should encourage economic development, attract diverse businesses and work to develop vacant properties. We can work with homeowners in economic distress to avoid foreclosures, nuisance properties and short sales. Helping those homeowners will benefit all village homeowners. At Beaver Creek, I favor owner-occupied condos and current zoning. Residents clearly spoke on this issue last year. Brown Deer has many wonderful hard working people, diversity in its people, seniors and veterans. Diversity is a strength. As I went door to door all over the Village of Brown Deer, I met and spoke with many residents. Our North Shore Fire Department, paramedics, and Police Department are excellent. We have excellent drinking water, sanitation and a great DPW Department.

Sherry Yusuf

Age: 56

Employer/

occupation: agent, American Family Insurance

Education: bachelor's in business administration from Mount Mary College

Contact: (414) 355-2994; ibuje1974@yahoo.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

I have lived in the village since 1991 and have 30 years of business experience. I am motivated, forward thinking, open minded, positive, professional, warm, hard working and business minded. The Village Board should mirror the diverse community it serves. I am looking forward to working for the residents.

Service consolidations, most notably of area police departments, remain topics of conversation in the North Shore. What are your thoughts, especially with regard to police?

Budgets have been tightened and with reduced tax revenues, municipalities must find ways to balance the budget and still provide the necessary services that the residences have grown accustomed to. If elected, I would consider supporting the consolidations of the police departments in the North Shore. It gives small departments access to previously unavailable resources, and it can eliminate redundancy. Accountability and management could also be improved through an effective consolidation plan.

What should the village's focus be in 2014?

1. Consolidation of the police departments in the North Shore and growing revenue. (Police union contract expires 12/2014.)

2. Focus on creating affordable apartment for families wanting to live in Brown Deer. A very nice modern bright color apartment complex (1 and 2 bedroom) on 51st and Brown Deer Road with underground parking would look great. This allows young families to live in the communities and then transition to property ownership.

3. Create a walking community, movie theaters, upscale shopping center, recreational facility and better restaurants.

4. Sidewalks and bike trails.

 

Editor's note: Candidates were limited to 50-, 75- and 150-word responses.

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